Is it Safe to Give Rawhide Treats to a Dog?

Is it Safe to Give Rawhide Treats to a Dog?

Health & Safety

These days you can find dog treats in every shape, size and flavour. From animal hooves to pigs’ ears and just about everything in-between, the choice is often mind boggling. This is especially true when it comes to choosing a suitable treat for a specific breed of dog. Some treats are now believed not to be very good for dogs, whether they are large, medium or small. There's also been a lot of debate as to whether rawhide treats are safe to give to our canine companions. Read on to find out the low down on rawhide treats for dogs.

An amazing choice of rawhide dog treats on the market

There is an amazing array of rawhide dog treats to be found in supermarkets. pet shops and online. A lot of them are made into fun looking toys that dogs can chew and which it is claimed, can help keep their teeth tartar free and in good condition. But what is rawhide?

Rawhide, the basics

The rawhide used in the pet industry tends to be sourced from cows and it's the inner most layer of their hide that's used to make dog and other pet treats and toys.

The positives of giving dogs and puppies rawhide chews

There are a few benefits to giving puppies and dogs rawhide treats or toys to chew on. With puppies it means they get to gnaw on something they are allowed to which is important, especially when they are going through the often painful and uncomfortable teething process. Chewing rawhide does help keep tartar at bay, but only to a certain extent and it is never an "alternative" to cleaning a puppy's or dog's teeth.

The negatives of giving dogs and puppies rawhide treats and toys

There are a few negatives to feeding puppies and older dogs rawhide toys or treats, with one of the main ones being that should a dog decide to bite a large chunk off, they may well swallow it whole which could cause all sorts of digestive problems. It may well result in a dog vomiting and suffering from a bad case of diarrhoea too!

Dogs can digest larger pieces of rawhide if they swallow them and usually everything is fine, although they may feel quite uncomfortable for a while. If, however, it causes a blockage in their digestive systems, it could mean a trip to the vet for the rawhide to be surgically removed, a painful process that's also a very expensive one too!

Taking small pieces of rawhide away from your dog

When your dog has chewed their way through a rawhide toy or treat, ideally you need to take the remaining small piece that may be left over away from them so they don't swallow them whole.

Rawhide does contain calories

Most pet owners don't realise that rawhide does in fact, contain calories and it also has quite a bit of protein in it although it is not considered as being "dog" food. Giving a dog too many rawhide toys and treats could result in them ploughing on the pounds. In short, it's best to give your pet a rawhide toy as a "special" treat and to only let a dog have a chew on one for a couple of hours a day!

When rawhide toys and treats are a no-no

If your dog has been diagnosed with chronic diarrhoea and/or they are vomiting a lot, it is never a good idea to give them anything made out of rawhide and the same can be said for dogs that suffer from any sort of allergies just in case it triggers a reaction.


Dogs love it when they are given a "special" treat and rawhide toys are a great way of rewarding a dog when they have been especially good. However, you should only let your pet chew on one for a couple of hours a day and to always keep an eye on them. If they bite off a chunk, it's best to take the toy or treat away from them and the same can be said of any small left over bits that can easily get swallowed! A whole piece of rawhide might cause a blockage although in general, dogs do manage to digest them, but it would make them feel pretty uncomfortable!

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